Friday, June 13, 2008

Review: Spitfire - Cult Fiction

Label: Goodfellow Records

Released: April 29, 2008

There are two kinds of anger: one based on love and one based on hate. I've always found myself more attracted to the former. New Model Army's fury on "I Love the World" has always seemed both fuller and deeper than something along the lines of the Circle Jerks' "World Up My Ass." With that in mind, one look at the cover of Cult Fiction made it clear that it was going to be angry, but what type of anger would it be?

Spitfire convey themselves via a dynamic mix of brutal, churning hardcore and disturbing psychedelic passages. The breaks in heaviness never let up on the album's intensity though. In fact, it is the ability to change the pace and feel and intertwine the the elements (often with guttural screams running through the trippiness) that makes Cult Fiction such an emotional ride. It is an album for a world at war, a war both within ourselves and with others, an epic struggle between good and evil. For all of its extremes, this one is all about love though. The love of one who would lay down his life for his neighbor. The love that's angry about the world gone awry. The love that will fight rather than submit to despair.

Back in 1968, Peter Scholtes wrote a song called "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love" that expresses an ideal that dates back to the earliest days of Christianity. I thought of it when I learned after the fact that Spitfire was a Christian band. So much of the complaint about hypocrisy within Christianity has to do with this ideal being forgotten by many. But Spitfire has not forgotten. Mind you, their love is not nice, it's angry, it's downright furious, but it is indeed love and, on this record, it seems boundless.

Satriani: 8/10
Zappa: 8/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 10/10
Overall: 9/10


If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.

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Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Wicked! I think I have this one somewhere in the review piles. I remember the cover, that's for sure! :) And I still love "World Up My Ass" though you make an excellent point about NMA

7:33 PM  

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